Court outcome: Rahul Nagpal and Nagpal Transport Pty Ltd
The OFT has taken a Brisbane based removalist company to court for deceptive practices.
Rahul Nagpal and his company Nagpal Transport Pty Ltd, which trades as Affordable Movers Brisbane have been fined a total of $16,000 in the Holland Park Magistrates Court (23 February 2023) for making false and misleading representations to consumers and wrongly accepting payment.
Between July 2021 and July 2022, Affordable Movers Brisbane provided quotes to several consumers for removalist services. Consumers accepted these quotes and made payment to the company after confirming the size of trucks they required for moving.
Several consumers requested specific sized trucks or specific features including a tailgate lift to move their belongings, which were promised by Affordable Movers.
On the date of service, the trader failed to provide the specific trucks required, leaving certain belongings behind and requiring one consumer to pay extra costs for additional removalist services.
Another consumer was falsely charged an additional $1000 for trailer hire when, in fact, the trailer hire charge was only $336.16.
Consumers were eventually compensated prior to court proceedings.
Quotes attributable to Commissioner for Fair Trading Victoria Thomson:
“It is essential that businesses understand their obligations and responsibilities when providing goods and services to consumers under the Australian Consumer Law.”
“Moving house can be stressful enough, without worrying about whether a trader is being underhanded.”
“As a business owner you have a responsibility to know and be clear about what you are providing to consumers, you cannot change the terms of that agreement as you see fit.”
The OFT recommends consumers be aware of the following tips when hiring removalists:
- shop around and compare quotes
- check reviews they may have on their website or social media pages
- check if they’re a member of the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA)
- check what is, and what isn’t included in the price
- check if there are extra costs such as storage costs in event of delays
- whether they require upfront payment, or accept payment after services are completed
- read and understand the contract and what insurance they offer
- consider additional insurance, such as transit insurance and accidental damage insurance.
If consumers believe they have been misled by a removalist, they are encouraged to approach the trader in the first instance. If this is unsuccessful, they should lodge a complaint with the OFT online at http://www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).